Over the last half century, the public’s increasing demand for fast, efficient, and convenient means of travel has resulted in greater use and dependency on existing transportation infrastructure, including freeways and their associated ramps, to meet their personal and/or business needs. This increasing demand has largely outpaced efforts to increase supply. Efforts to satisfy public demand for improved travel have instead shifted from of a philosophy of providing additional capacity to one of improving management and operations of existing transportation infrastructure. Born out of this philosophy was the implementation of policies, strategies and technologies to improve performance of freeway entrance and exit ramps. These policies, strategies, and technologies are better known as Ramp Management.
The over-riding objectives of Ramp Management are to minimize congestion (and its side effects), improve safety, and enhance overall mobility. This handbook provides guidance and recommended practices that help practitioners archive these objectives. The use or application of the guidance and recommendations provided in this handbook will serve to enhance the use and effectiveness of the ramp management and control strategies.
Although more comprehensive in scope, this handbook complements and describes in greater depth the issues and concepts specific to ramp management and control that were presented in Chapter 7 of the Freeway Management and Operations Handbook. The Freeway Management and Operations Handbook was released by the Federal Highway Administration in September 2003, and has been updated concurrently with this handbook to summarize the guidance presented in this handbook.